Peers" is designed to help two types of
visitors. And we're here to serve you as a free-access, community service
You'll find resources for sorting out the very earliest questions related to
marital distress and legal separation. Should you stay? what can you
anticipate "on the other side"? There's a lot here on the process itself,
divorce law, glimpses inside various courtrooms, and working with divorce lawyers.
But divorce rarely gives closure the day your judgment is signed, and sometimes
not even when the last kid turns eighteen. So we're here with you as long
after what many anticipate as the end of things, and well into next
relationships. As long as you need us.
work with feelings, identity and autonomy struggles, and next relationships.
you are looking for ways to reach out to a friend, co-worker, or loved one
in the pain of divorce, we can offer some guidance on that.
may also be a divorce support group leader, responsible for a divorce
recovery workshop or feel called to create such an offering in response to
needs you see. We have entire sections dedicated to helping you out.
most important thing I'd like you to know at this point is that
you are not
alone in dealing with the challenges of divorce. There are many others out
here who care deeply about your pain, and we're here to lend a hand.
Where are you located?
Divorce Peers serves a national audience.
of what you'll find here will speak to your situation wherever you are. For
example, consider the
stepfamily advice found in
our Relationships section.
that matter, much of what we do here applies to and benefits from many
During the January 2005 beta testing of Divorce Peers, for instance, we were
working with divorce support group leadership in Melbourne, Australia, on
program enhancement using some of our proprietary research.
micro-specifics, we'll always encourage you to great local community sites;
we further seek to serve this role for the areas in which we are based. Beyond
that, we tier what we share across some national-to-State-to-local issue
areas, to bring a more personal flavor to these discussions.
You'll see this in
our Statistics pages, for example.
invite you into our community to take a look at great thinking, such as one
court's analysis of the so-called "best interest factors" used in
determining child custody in Michigan. Or for best-of-class direction in
Personal Safety, we'll direct you to the "Police Notebook" by The University
of Oklahoma Police Department.
the same time, it's important to emphasize that some things most
particularly when it comes to divorce law do not translate from
jurisdiction to jurisdiction,
Uniform Interstate Family Support Act notwithstanding.
example, as pointed out in
Divorce Yourself: The National No-Fault Divorce
Kit, some laws, rules, and assumptions can apply in all but one or two of
the 50 United States.
Tennessee, the sex of the parent may be considered in determining custody of
Alaska is the only State where there is equitable distribution of property,
except that a married couple may designate specific property as "community
property" by written agreement.
How serious are we?
serious about helping you. But we do this in the context of two of the greatest risks we've seen in
folks respond by becoming rigid (as Dr. E. Mavis Hetherington has validated) and
when they lose their sense of humor.
have nothing but our deepest respect.
we'll try to show that in less than the most serious ways, whenever we can.
Putting together a site like this is both an awesome opportunity and obligation.
As such, we put a great deal of time into giving you the best possible
insight into each topic we cover. That's a job we continually work at, and
as things change or new research and even anecdotal experiences come out, we
revise things here accordingly.
doesn't mean everything you'll read here has been vetted by the
Divorce & Remarriage or will be recognized as a best seller along side Dr. John Gottman's
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.
always that sound (in our opinion). But if it's more accessible to this
audience or that coming from Focus on the Family,
Men's Health Best Life,
Psychology Today, or
The Oprah Magazine...
...that's what we'll quote.
expect perfection, even from the "experts." Nobody's perfect. If you read something that
largely, in that area, works in your situation, we'd encourage you to focus
on that as opposed to nitpicking to the point of inevitable weakness.
holds true for your friends, loved ones, and support groups. The ones run by
churches, in particular, benefit from the humbling reminders of Romans
3:10-12, and Galatians 2:21, and 6:2-5, for example.
Who authored this site?
Dell Deaton, Domestic Relations Mediator and Divorce Coach. Since 1983, I've
worked professionally as a researcher, negotiator, and communications
advisor in the wake of high emotion and extreme time pressures. My
professional practice is based in Washtenaw County, Michigan.
importantly (for most who visit this site), I'm also divorced.
heart and the content of Divorce Peers come not only from expert training
and professional work now with individuals through mediation, coaching, and
my workshops but as a person who has suffered thought the actual experience
of divorce. I'm also the
proud parent of a wonderful little boy, who is currently in elementary school.
assured: I never judge.
Through my own lack of success in marital perpetuation, I've come to feel a
growing need to scratch out and share any good that may be there to pass
along. It's not hard to find people across the Internet extracting absolute
cynicism from an already sad state of affairs in divorce. But that's not me.
generally an optimist, hopeful, and one who sees so much more potential in
encouraging others to squeeze lemonade out of lemons. I think the
psychologists call this sublimation.
that helps, so be it.
"Divorce Peers" first came about
that time it was a pretty fragmented effort, bouncing about among eMail,
chat rooms, and bulletin board formats. In preparation for this, now our
third official incarnation, a friend reminded me that I had used the phrase
"divorce peers" in a 1998 eMail exchange with her.
that eMail, I was, with great humility, responding to her request for help on an issue
in her own divorce-in-process, encouraging her merely to see us as "divorce
peers," rather than give any thought to comparing which of us might be getting along better
at any given point in the journey.
"divorce" started sneaking its way into the content of an early, personal
website I created, I knew it was time for a dedicated site.
Formats change more in response to content organization and accessibility
than style, although I am interested in things looking nice here (I've been
in visual communications since my first job in college as a wedding
photographer an irony that never escapes me.
solely responsible for all Divorce Peers content, and I underwrite all
expenses out of my own pocket.
There are four more people you
should know about.
one truly accomplishes anything without the understanding, encouragement,
and understanding of others. Certainly I would not be where I am today with
some very important people who I would like to recognize to you, briefly,
I've helped you, it is only because they, in particularly, have helped me.
More than that: There would be no Divorce Peers, if it weren't for each of
first is Mrs. Poyndexter, who I jokingly say insisted that Divorce Peers
visitors shouldn't have to go more than a click to get the information they
want. Divorce is burden enough without that. "You don't want people running around there like a bunch of idiots!"
she'd scold me. She's been a beautiful, smart, witty, and inspirational friend.
and her Samoyed brought about
www.divorcebalance.com, by the way.
second and third on the list are my parents. And that's no clichι (which, in
case you didn't read my condemnation on
Divorce Balance, I try to
an engineer and the engine who keeps the lights on here in more ways than you
could ever dream of. He's also helped me see why we must look behind masks when trying to
truly understand character, and how I've come to appreciate the value of
meeting folks where they need to live.
is the straightforward optimist who'll boil down almost any challenge to
root encouragement: "It only takes once to catch up."
but not least, there's my Papa. He's still counting from his 100th birthday
as this latest version of Divorce Peers launches and it's by grace, I'm
guessing, that he's excepting me from his advice against allowing too high a
profile for one's self.
taught me the most important things about understanding, people, and
engagement. I don't think I've ever led a divorce support group, mediation,
or coaching session where I haven't heard his voice in my ear,
Rather, I suspect is close to the truth, more like I'm co-facilitating for
Ask for help if you need it.
don't imagine anyone will mistake me for a resident of Paradise, but I do
fancy this cite, regarding the Garden of Eden, from Genesis 2:18,
"The LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make him
a helper suitable for him.'"
for the more curmudgeonly bent, more practically put, from Ecclesiastes
4:9-10, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for
their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up."
importantly: "'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?'" we
read in Matthew 22:36-40. "Jesus replied: '"Love the LORD your God
with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind." This is the
first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your
neighbor as yourself." All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two
love in evidence, I'm convinced.
free to write to me with any questions, concerns, or
just to connect. If you'll include your eMail, I will do my best to respond
as soon as practical. Your story your well being is very important.
Domestic Relations Mediator
Divorce Recovery Workshop Leader
Transition / Life Coach
Divorce Reality Group